06 Jul

The Making of a San Mai Kukri – Part 1

 

Over the past 2 days I’ve been working on a new custom order and I thought it might put some insight into how I forge blades by doing a little photo documentation. I’ll post more pictures as I work on this kukri more over the next few days. Update Part 2 and Part 3.

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Two pieces of 2.5″x6″ 15N20 and a piece of 0.1875″ 1084 – Cleaned and ready to weld.

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Clamped for tack welding. It’s important to clamp both ends because of how thin the 15N20 is, otherwise we’ll end up with warping which may cause problems during welding.

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Just a few quick tacks, 6 in total, just enough to hold the stock together for welding into a billet.

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Flat dies in the hydraulic press for setting the initial weld.

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After a little preheating, the tacked stock is fluxed with borax and ready to be brought to welding heat.

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Setting the initial weld in the press.

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During the process, I reflux the seams several times just to ensure a solid weld.

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After setting the weld in my press, I draw it out on the rolling mill to 0.1875″ With a 6″ starting length, this means the billet will be 11″ long when at the correct thickness.

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The billet welded. Because of how the rolling mill works, it only draws out the length of the billet, leaving us with 2.5″x11″. I then use my plasma cutter to trim the billet to 2.25″x10.85″ – this eliminates any possibility of cold shuts around the edge of the billet.

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Notching using the sharp edge of the anvil where the tang will be drawn out.

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It’s a lot of working back and forth on two sides to start drawing the tang down.

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Once I get it to a decent length and width, I can now hold it in my blade tongs to start working on the main body of the kukri.

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I begin by upsetting and rounding the tip. This eliminates any rolling that would cause a cold shut.

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Then, using a slightly round faced hammer, I start narrowing the blade down in the center.

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Roughed out shape. Still have some forging today for the tip and for the mid-section of the blade. I need to narrow it down a little more towards the ricasso.

 

One thought on “The Making of a San Mai Kukri – Part 1

  1. Pingback: Making a San Mai Kukri – Part 2 | J W Stekervetz, Bladesmith

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